“I just wanted to create something really special. ” – Landscape architect Heidi Stewart
Landscape architect Heidi Stewart has been a huge part of developing the new Nelson Tasman Hospice facility – and has a little-known personal connection with the service.
Heidi, who oversaw the landscaping of the 1.4 hectare section and who is still involved in finalising details onsite, had a friend who passed away in hospice care. “She was a quite well-known landscaper in Nelson,” Heidi says. “A group of us set up a trust and approached the Hospice on the old site to ask if they would like us to create a sanctuary garden.”
There, they designed, built and planted a courtyard garden to soften the area by the carpark. The $30,000 plus project came together with a lot of volunteer labour and products. It was only natural that Hospice should contact Heidi with its plans for a new facility in Stoke.
The new design includes native planting, an open park space and a contemplation area, all interwoven with walkways. Heidi says research shows that a beautiful outdoors environment isn’t just a nice-to-have but is important to people’s health and wellbeing.
“There’s so much research about the therapeutic benefits of the natural environment on health and that’s important for people at any stage of life.” Heidi says the project felt particularly meaningful. “I just wanted to create something really special. I appreciate that I can bring value to other people’s lives through this project.” Hospice chief executive Frans Dellebeke says the organisation is extremely grateful to Heidi for her “ongoing commitment over many years”.